Chicago’s Incredible River Walk! Here’s A Tour At All Hours!

Welcome To Chicago – And The Chicago River!

It’s one of the most beautiful – and enjoyable – walks in America: the 2 miles of riverfront along the Chicago river, which has been turned into a great place for tourists and locals alike!

There’s the iconic Tribune building with the clock, and you can see all of the great restaurants and outdoor spaces on the lower part of this shot – and the Tribune is even more gorgeous at night!

Time To Walk Chicago’s River!

Anyone who comes to Chicago knows that the city is cut in half: south of the river sits “the loop”, with above ground trains that circle the downtown area!

Just to set the stage: the Riverwalk separate the loop from the city’s preeminent shopping street: the “Magnificent Mile” which sits on the north side of the Chicago river, which flows westbound from Lake Michigan!

Lake Michigan, Meet The Chicago River!

Living much of the year in Chicago for 5 years, this was my view: that’s Lake Michigan at sunrise where it meets the Chicago River – and a century ago Scientists figured out how to send the water INTO the river from the lake!

Here’s a nice walk along Chicago’s river with you!

The two miles of walkway are on the south side of the river on the left, as you can see in the shot above, taken from the Lakeshore Drive bridge – and this is what the bridge looks like from the north side of the river:

The River Has A Water Cannon!

And what is that spraying across the shot? Well, that’s the river’s iconic water cannon! During the warm months, the river shoots an 80-foot stream of water every hour during the day!

The cannon shoots from the north side of the river, and this cannon shoots hourly until late at night!

The main Riverwalk path is on the south side of the river, and you walk underneath 9 separate bridges on your journey – so let’s get going!

That’s Michigan Ave. above on the right, and The LaSalle Bridge, and to the left is the walkway, and the corncob buildings – here is what they look like at night:

You walk underneath these bridges, and many have mirrors that arc over the walkway, so you can get shots like this:

Here’s what happened when I decided to film my reflection from above – at the end I almost hav e an accident!


There are many restaurants along the way to get a bite to eat and a drink, and the views are gorgeous at all times of the day or night:

There are non-stop tours on the river, with a closeup look at the city’s iconic architecture – here’s a look:


It’s a well lit path at night, and if you think the river is quiet after dark, think again!

Check out this river traffic jam!

Yes, late night Kayakers jostle for position alongside boats of all shapes and sizes…and speaking of all shapes and sizes: as you watch along the path, your journey passes by what was, at one time, the single largest office building IN THE WORLD!

Chicago’s Merchandise Mart held that distinction until The Pentagon opened – and until recently, the building had its own zip code!

Here’s the building at night on the right:

This panorama shot show just how big the Mart is on the upper right….this is from the end of the riverwalk, and you see the river split into north and south direction.

Here’s a shot at night – you can see the Lake bridge is lit up with a subway train crossing over it.

As well as walking the river, it’s also fun to take one of those tour boats on the river as well, as they tell you great stories about the architecture and history of Chicago:

Most will agree that Chicago is a vibrant party city – especially for a few days every spring:

This is what the riverwalk looks like right after the city paints the river green for St. Patrick’s Day:

Yes, this annual tradition is a wild day indeed!

See more here:

There is so much history here – some of it brought in and attached to a building!

Yes, the iconic Tribune Building as history literally attached to it – see some of the coolest ones here:

Now, it’s not all fun and games in Chicago – did you see this picture I shared?

That guy is working on a broken crane – 26 stories above ground!

Click here to see the video!

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Leave a comment if you’ve ever been on this river walk – and I you like this story, please share on social media!

Categories: Art, chicago, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Sports, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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13 replies

  1. If I went to the Tribune Building, I would have to stand for days touching each artifact. The mirrors under the bridge- wow! And of course their trade secret on making the river green. Terrific post, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I took this tour a few years back and it was fantastic! I love Chicago, was born there, but moved to mi when I was young. it’s one of my fav ‘big cities’ in the u.s.


  3. A lovely post about Chicago, John. The water canon is great fun. I remember the building with the historical tributes attached to it and that office building is enormous.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chicago is a city I would love to visit. I love your pictures. Thanks for the tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this tour, John! Thanks for all the wonderful photos and good tips! We’ll be in Chicago next month and hope to take the river walk and one of the boat tours!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A Chicago River trip at night looks like something I would enjoy. I made the most of riverside walks by The Thames when I lived in London.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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